As someone who has lived with the Rev. Bill Bichsel in the Catholic Worker community, has been to jail with him and knows his associates, I want to respectfully take issue with the editorial board’s perception that he and associates live in a “wishful thinking world” (editorial, 12-15).
To the contrary, they all live and serve in the “real world” of hunger, poverty and homelessness in a nation that trusts in instruments of violence and spends way over half its discretionary budget on arms instead of on human needs.
Bichsel and his associates, in my view, are prophets who have been sounding an alarm as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did in 1967 concerning the Vietnam War: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
The editorial board believes that “until the advent of the peaceable kingdom, nuclear arms are likely to remain a necessary evil.” Bichsel and his associates are not going to wait and trust in instruments of violence “until the advent of the peaceable kingdom.” Instead, they are acting nonviolently to help bring that peaceable kingdom about in the here and now.